McIlroy, Singh Lead at Rain-Suspended PGA; Tiger Woods Is 5 Back

Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh hold a one-stroke lead in the PGA Championship, golf’s final major of the season, where a thunderstorm postponed the conclusion of the third round until today.

McIlroy, 23, the 2011 U.S. Open winner from Northern Ireland, and Singh, 49, a two-time PGA winner from Fiji, are at 6 under par at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, one stroke ahead of Adam Scott of Australia and two in front of Carl Pettersson of Sweden.

Tiger Woods is at 1 under for the tournament through seven holes of the third round after three bogeys in a four-hole stretch. He missed three of the first six fairways with his tee shots and will have a par putt from about eight feet on the eighth hole when play resumes today at 7:45 a.m. local time.

``I got off to a rough start today and couldn't get anything going,'' Woods said. ``I’ll come back tomorrow morning and see what happens. There are a lot of holes left to play.''

McIlroy birdied five of his opening eight holes before dropping a shot with a bogey on the par-4 ninth.

“It was a great start, the start I was looking to get off to,” McIlroy told reporters after play was stopped. “That’s all I can really ask for. I’m happy with where I am.”

On the par-4 third hole, McIlroy’s tee shot became embedded in the trunk of a dead tree on the left side of the fairway. After searching for the ball for several minutes, McIlroy was told by television personnel that it was in the tree.

“It had wedged itself in between the tree bark and the actual tree,” he said. “That’s the first time a ball has ever got stuck up in a tree on me. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”

After taking a penalty stroke for an unplayable lie, McIlroy reached the green on his next shot and sank the par putt.

Final-Round Play

Final-round play is scheduled to begin three hours after third-round play resumes, with players teeing off in threesomes from the 1st and 10th tees.

Woods, Singh and Pettersson were tied for the lead entering the third round.

Woods, 36, an American seeking his first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open, bogeyed holes 4, 5, and 7 yesterday after a 1-under 71 in the second round. Singh birdied the 1st and 7th holes. Pettersson, a 34-year-old from Sweden, bogeyed the third and birdied the fifth hole to start the third round after a 2- over 74 a day earlier.

Play began yesterday under a clear sky with light wind. An approaching storm halted play at 4:50 p.m. local time. Third- round action was suspended at 6:30 p.m. Wind and rain has plagued the tournament throughout the week.

“Unfortunately, the weather gods turned against us,” Kerry Haigh, the PGA of America’s managing director of championships, said in a news conference.

Weather Forecast

Haigh said he expects the tournament to be able to finish today.

“The forecast is very positive,” Haigh said. “Our weather people tell us we can expect a very good day.”

Strong winds in the second round raised the scoring average to 78.12, the highest single-round stroke average at a PGA Championship since 1991, after being 73.33 a day earlier. The last time a single-round stroke average at a U.S. PGA Tour event was above 78 was in the final round of the 2004 U.S. Open.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Buteau in Atlanta at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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